ELK CITY – “I want to say this is a great team to work with, one that wants the very best outcome for this school,” Dennis Kachelmier said at the Sept. 21 board meeting held at Elk City School (ECS).
Kachelmier, a former principal at Clearwater Valley and superintendent in Nezperce school district, works for the state as a capacity builder. He has been leading a team to assist ECS as it has been in school improvement mode. ECS was targeted for support when it did not meet state standards several years ago.
Kachelmier reported about $25,000 has been funneled to ECS through Title 1 funds to supplement operations, but not supplant anything the district is required to provide on a regular basis.
The school currently has 11 students, the largest number in many years, in grades K-8. Joe Rodriguez is principal, and Kathy Knutzen serves as teacher.
“With the school improvement funds, we have been able to offer some STEM and outdoor science activities and meet the needs of all students that otherwise would have been much more difficult to do,” Knutzen said.
Kachelmier said there have been improvements in reading and math, which is difficult to show statistically due to the challenges of COVID-19 this year which resulted in lack of formal state testing.
“We’ve been able to add the equivalent of one full-time staff here with two part-time people, and you can imagine how helpful that has been with teaching a broad spectrum of grades,” Kachelmier added.